Player: Heung-Min Son
Country: South Korea
Bundesliga Player Since: 2010
There was a time in the Bundesliga when players such as Cha Bum-Kun and Yasuhiko Okudera were the subject of much attention. As Asians, they were regarded in Germany as exotic. But recently a trend has developed that one could call "Asia reloaded". The new Bundesliga has fallen in love with football from the Far East. And Son Heung-Min, the whirlwind of Hamburger SV, has provided many positive headlines.
When we asked him for an interview, he told us about his ambitions with the South Korean national team: "I hope and wish, of course, that my dream of representing my country will soon be fulfilled." Now Heung-Min Son is on the verge of winning his first cap at the Asian Cup in Qatar. We at Goal.com have our fingers crossed as we continue our "Stars of the Bundesliga" series with the wonderful South Korean.
"I Was Disappointed And Sad"
Goal.com: Heung-Min Son, after a long injury absence you have finally arrived at HSV. What is your immediate impression of the Bundesliga?
Son: I was very disappointed and sad when I hurt myself after a good pre-season just before the season opener. I am happier now that I have made my comeback and got the chance to prove myself in the Bundesliga. The league is a challenge, it is at a very high level. I want to establish myself as a Bundesliga player at HSV, so I work every day.
There are only a few South Koreans who have played in the Bundesliga. Nevertheless, all the fans know one special player: Bum-Kun Cha. Is he your role model?
Of course he is a great player who played a pioneering role for the South Koreans, for me Cha was a role model.
How closely do football fans in South Korea follow the Bundesliga, and how will its image improve?
As more and more Asians draw attention and support in the Bundesliga, it will gain more interest from Asia and thus also from South Korea.
"The Bundesliga Is A Challenge"
What made you especialy attracted to the Bundesliga?
As a young player, I can learn a lot, especially with HSV. I train with world class stars such as Ruud van Nistelrooy, from whom I can learn a lot, it's like a dream. The Bundesliga is filled with great players and is a challenge for me. That is why for me the attraction to play in Germany is very great. I also want to achieve much with HSV in the next few years, and hope we will play internationally.
What do you like about the club or the city in particular?
I still live in HSV boarding, but Hamburg is a great city that has much to offer. It was and is not always easy when you're so far from home. But HSV is like family and I am very grateful.
Next Friday, the next installment: the "Stars Of The Bundesliga" returns with Ivo Ilicevic of 1. FC Kaiserslautern.